TOKYO – Tokyo is busy – ok make that frantic- by day, but it’s when the sun goes down that this city takes on a level of intensity unique in the world. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Tokyo never even slows down. “Time moves in its own special way” at night in the Japanese capital, as novelist Haruki Murakami wrote, aided no doubt by thousands of jam-packed clubs. Standing out in this neon sea of nightlife is a tall order for any new establishment; yet ELE Tokyo met this challenge with flying colors, not to mention split beams, intense strobes and a plethora of pixel mapped effects from CHAUVET Professional used in a stunning fashion by LD Michael Meacham of iDesign Productions (Miami, FL).
ELE instantly distinguished itself by offering what one reviewer described as “a classy alternative” to the typical late night club. At the same time, though, the club sizzles with EDM energy, featuring world class DJs and appearances by celebrities like Lady Gaga. Meacham’s lighting design manages to highlight the elegance of the two-story club’s architecture as well as its gold and silver decorating scheme, while also serving up a healthy dose of EDM attitude to its custom-designed DJ booth and dance floor.
“I designed the lighting so it became part of the club’s architecture,” said Meacham. “The lights work with the building’s high-end features by doing things like wrapping the columns and creating bursts on the ceiling. The angle of space here is unique – it’s not the typical symmetrical square or rectangle; our lighting design takes advantage of this feature”.
“However, at the same time that we accented the club’s architectural features to project a sense of elegance, we also created some EDM festival looks,” he continued. “For example, I really loved designing the mini festival stage with the large DJ booth, video panel backdrops and video staircase risers on either side.”
The geometric effects created by the lighting are essential to the design at ELE, according to Meacham. To illustrate this point, he describes how he utilized the Rogue R1 Beams. “I created two custom LED circle bursts, putting eight Rogue R1 Beams in the center circle and eight of the units on the outer circle. This created some interesting looks,” he said. “I also placed Legend 412Z washes close to the mid-point of the circle bursts and had them programmed as key lights for the DJ and dancers. With the zoom feature of the Legends, we can focus on a single performer or use the wash feature to cover the entire back stage.”
Meacham’s gear at ELE includes 16 Rogue R1 Beams, two Legend 412Z washes and six Strike 882 strobe panels (“perfect blinders in a club environment”) from CHAUVET Professional, as well as custom-made 14mm pitch LED bars, custom 10mm LED stair risers and custom 6mm LED tiles, all controlled by a GrandMA playback/programming wing.
A late addition to Meacham’s rig, the Rogue R1 Beam has surpassed everyone’s expectations at ELE. “The Rogue’s linear prism, variable scrolling speed and aerial capabilities all contributed greatly to the design,” said the LD. “We saw these lights at InfoComm in Vegas and were really impressed by their capability in a convention center setting. Once they were installed in ELE, we were blown away by their intensity. It’s one thing to see these lights in a large building but it’s another to see how well that they perform in a smaller setting. When we turned on the Rogue fixtures at ELE, we all looked at each other with huge smiles in awe.”
The gold and silver decorating scheme of ELE has made the Rogue’s impact even more dramatic. “There are plenty of reflective surfaces at this club,” said Meacham. “When the Rogue R1 beams hit these shiny surfaces on the floor and walls, we get a beautiful mirror ball effect. I programmed using all the colors produced by the Rogue fixtures, and they all complement the gold really well.”
Not surprisingly, given the emphasis placed on moving geometric patterns at ELE, pixel mapping played a key role in the club’s lighting design. “Scott Chmielewski and the DMD S7 Studio team excelled at doing complicated patching and UV mapping for the media server,” said Meacham. “There are over a thousand LED strips pixel mapped at the club. Really, there’s a lot of mapping to unify the columns, ceiling bursts, stairs, and video wall behind the DJ booth. While all these areas have individual outputs, the video can either run independent or seamlessly as one image“.
“We are also running the Legend 412Z fixtures in individual pixel mode with cool chasing and strobe effects,” he continued. “I chose these lights for the zoom and wash features to cover the entire back DJ booth stage area. However, we also program the Legends to swing out for cool pixel chasing effects on the audience.”
Meacham recalls that his ELE project came about after the club’s owners traveled to Miami to see his work at E11EVEN, which used a circular ceiling feature similar to the one he now has in Tokyo with the Rogue R1 Beam. “They liked our idea for this club, but Japanese clients love proof of concept before they sign on, so they came to Florida.”
Next time clients in Japan want to see what this LD can accomplish on a ceiling with pixel mapping and a powerful split beam moving fixture like the Rogue R1, they won’t have to travel that far. The end result is always on display at ELE, one of the brightest jewels in Tokyo’s glittering night scene.
For more information on iDesign Productions visit www.idesignproductions.com
About CHAUVET Professional
CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com